Loading...

Strong Growth in Energy Sector Jobs Spurred by Green Vehicle Manufacturing

June 29, 2022 by Dan McCue
U.S. Department of Energy headquarters. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON — Employment in the U.S. energy sector rose 4% last year, led by an increase in workers at firms building electric and other low-emission vehicles, the U.S. Department of Energy said on Tuesday.

In a new report, the department said employment in the manufacturing of greener vehicles and their components, a category that takes in hybrid electric, full battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, rose by about 25% last year, accounting for about 64,500 additional jobs.

By comparison, the overall number of jobs in the motor vehicle sector rose only 9%, though it accounted for 228,100 jobs.

Jobs in solar energy rose about 17,500 or about 5.4%, while wind power jobs rose about 3,350, or 2.9%, the report said.

At the same time, employment in the oil and gas industry fell 6.4% – or about by 31,600 jobs – mostly due to a slackening of demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Overall, the energy sector added more than 300,000 jobs, increasing the total number of energy jobs from 7.5 million in 2020 to more than 7.8 million in 2021, the report said.

In a call with reporters, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the report is “good news to build on.”

At the same time, however, she said it’s critical that Congress act to pass additional climate-related legislation to maintain this momentum.

“We’re going to need more clean energy tax credits from Congress if we’re going to turbo-charge this progress and create millions more good paying, high quality jobs,” Granholm said.

In terms of demographics, the report’s authors found that the energy workforce is about 74% male, making it less gender diverse than the U.S. workforce average, which is 53% male. 

Women make up about 25% of the energy workforce, the report said, much less than the U.S. average, which is 47%. 

In addition, there is a higher percentage of non-White workers in energy, 26% compared to 22% of the entire U.S. workforce. However, the energy workforce has a lower-than-average percentage of Black and Latino workers. There are no technologies where Black workers are represented proportionally to their overall representation in the U.S. workforce.

Workers of two or more races are more represented in nearly every energy technology, composing 8% of the energy workforce, compared to 2% across all U.S. industries. Economy-wide research, however, shows that respondents may answer inconsistently to questions about two or more races.

Finally, the report said, the energy workforce is younger than average. Only 17% of the energy workforce is older than 55, which is lower than the national employment average of 24%.

Asked about the downturn in oil and gas sector hiring, the secretary said she expects those numbers will rebound as companies in the sector produce more to meet demand and sanctions imposed after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine limits the amount of Russian oil and gas on the market.

“We want to see an increase in supply,” Granholm said of oil and gas. 

“But ultimately, most project that there will be a demand curve that comes down and that this transition [to cleaner, renewable sources of energy] will happen,” she said.

Dan can be reached at dan@thewellnews.com and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.

In The News

Health

Voting

Employment

August 5, 2022
by Dan McCue
Maryland Receives $22.9M Grant to Expand Offshore Wind Workforce

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Maryland Department of Labor has received a $22.9 million Good Jobs Challenge grant from the federal... Read More

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Maryland Department of Labor has received a $22.9 million Good Jobs Challenge grant from the federal government to help it implement a new apprenticeship model to support the region’s growing offshore wind industry. The Maryland project was one of 32 winners chosen... Read More

July 18, 2022
by Dan McCue
Staffers in Eight House Offices File Union Organizing Petitions

WASHINGTON — Staffers in eight congressional offices have formally applied for recognition of their union by the Office of Congressional... Read More

WASHINGTON — Staffers in eight congressional offices have formally applied for recognition of their union by the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights. The staffers are all members of the recently formed Congressional Workers Union. They work in the offices of Reps. Cori Bush, D-Mo., Chuy Garcia,... Read More

July 8, 2022
by Madeline Hughes
Ethics Office: Federal Employees With Crypto Shouldn’t Work on Rules

WASHINGTON — Federal employees with crypto-assets shouldn’t be working on new rules and regulations that could influence the value of... Read More

WASHINGTON — Federal employees with crypto-assets shouldn’t be working on new rules and regulations that could influence the value of those assets, according to a new legal advisory from the Office of Government Ethics. This comes as multiple agencies across the federal government were instructed by... Read More

July 6, 2022
by Reece Nations
Discrimination Lurks in University Hiring Platforms 

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice is shedding light on the growing trend of discrimination toward non–U.S. citizens on university... Read More

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice is shedding light on the growing trend of discrimination toward non–U.S. citizens on university job recruitment platforms after landing a score of settlements. DOJ signed 16 settlement agreements requiring private employers to pay a total of $832,944 in civil penalties.... Read More

June 29, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
Supreme Court Expands Veterans’ Rights to Sue States for Job Discrimination

WASHINGTON — A Supreme Court ruling Wednesday broadens the rights of veterans to sue state agencies for employment discrimination based... Read More

WASHINGTON — A Supreme Court ruling Wednesday broadens the rights of veterans to sue state agencies for employment discrimination based on their military service. The ruling revives a lawsuit by a former Texas state trooper who said he was forced out of his job because of... Read More

June 29, 2022
by Reece Nations
Companies Embrace Future of Work Trends Post-COVID

SAN ANTONIO — The pandemic may have been the catalyst for workplaces around the country to adapt and solve common... Read More

SAN ANTONIO — The pandemic may have been the catalyst for workplaces around the country to adapt and solve common issues experienced before COVID-19 forced companies to change their everyday operations. Although the economy has largely recovered from COVID-19 following unprecedented legislative action, some companies aren’t... Read More

News From The Well